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Nightmare Fuel / Meta Runner

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This is a more grounded reality than a certain Australian boy's bloopers, so be expecting some nightmare fuel.

Moment Subpages are Spoilers Off. You Have Been Warned.

  • Episode 1, while rather nice overall, starts off with a rather chilling moment with Tari waking up in the middle of a dark lab, as we're treated to brief clips of Dr Sheridan talking to Tari in the past. However, it's the last clip that's VERY notable as we're treated to what appears to be a disaster occurring in his lab, he's panicking and desperately trying to shut off the source of the disaster, before appearing to die caught in an explosion. Even worse, we a hear a terrified woman (later confirmed to be Lucinia) crying out to him for help before the flashback ends.
  • Episode 2 shows just how harsh Lucks can be with his methods, as he has assistants forcefully tinker with Tari's cybernetic arm while she's still in Ultra Jump Mania. The result is Tari feeling every bit of pain from the tinkering in the game, with Lucks not hesitating for a second with his research despite Tari's cries of pain.
    • While Lucks’s scientists experiment on Tari, the entire world of Ultra Jump Mania glitches, like reality itself is becoming unstable.
    • Also occurring during the experiment is the appearance of glowing, circuit-like lines that appear and spread across Tari’s body, as if something is building up inside her. The others, for various reasons, pay no mind to this detail... until Tari’s forced exit of the game causes her body to release this energy as a HUGE shockwave, blasting everyone around her. One shot is dedicated to a scientist getting violently thrown into a wall by the explosion. No serious damage from the blast is made explicit and Theo’s arrival quickly distracts everyone, but it’s still an unnerving moment and the lack of explanation for what just happened arguably makes it worse.
  • Episode 6 reveals that Dr. Sheridan was Laughing Mad through the entirety of the development process of Project Blue. The implications this has on the ethical aspects of the process are... disconcerting, at the very least. Especially with that explosion at the end... It's also revealed the woman we hear screaming in the footage is not Tari, but Lucinia, Belle's old best friend, meaning she presumably died in the explosion as well.
  • Episode 8, while for the most part rather casual, has a rather tense moment when Tari warps into the Tempest tournament server. The transition seems to be normal... Until the scene starts to glitch out, soon ending up with Tari appearing in a strange black void with white particles floating about like snow. She eventually finds what appears to be Lucinia floating in the void with her, and when trying to talk to her, she just... drops out of Tari's view before she wakes up in the game. It all gives off an ominous vibe that leaves the viewer tense and wondering what the hell just happened.
  • Episode 10 has Lucks at his most vicious. He shoots Masa's Meta Runner arm off and threatens to execute him if Sofia didn't turn herself in (As in he had his gun set to Masa's head), breaks Theo's cartridge and holds its chip, and by extension Theo, hostage, and forces Tari to surrender herself to TAS Corp and have MD-5 stay away from him and TAS Corp or he'll erase Theo.
  • A teaser for Season 2 at first looked like a simple video of Simple Flip Island... then the screen starts to glitch out as we hear Theo begging for help, screaming "I want to go home!". Transfer Student gives some more context to the teaser, as it ends with Lucks moving Theo from the solitary chamber to a copy of his home... an extremely glitchy and terrifying version filled with horrifying facial expressions as enemies appear around him while he's stuck in the floor and his only weapon had glitched out of existence moments before. The last we see of him before the credits is him cowering in fear as the enemies begin merging together, towering over him.
  • Season 2 Episode 9, which is fittingly entitled “Nightmare Mode”, gives us a look at the Glitchemoth, the glitchy abomination Evelyn takes control of to fight Tari and Theo in the glitched Ultra Jump Mania cartridge. It can only be described as a monster made of the tree enemies and even one of Evelyn's own arms sprouting from its body. And when Evelyn speaks through it, it sounds just as freaky too, almost like multiple voices are talking at once.
  • Lucks' death in the season 2 finale. While not explicitly gruesome, it was definitely unexpected, and we even see blood spout out, some of which lands on Masa's face and the reactions on everyone's faces implied he was shot badly.
  • Dr. Sheridan's brief appearance during The Stinger in Season 2. The tone in his voice is somehow even more unhinged than before, he has some noticeable burn marks across the left side of his face, and he's convincing Evelyn to join his side with promises of vengeance to the girl who humiliated her. Said girl is his own creation, by the way. With the confirmation that Season 3 is in the works, who knows what horrible things the two will do together?
    • The fact that Sheridan was Masa's neighbor from "Firewall" and had been making several blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameos throughout all of Season 2.
  • The ending of the teaser for the third and final season shows Tari's unconscious body lying in a laboratory which appears to be Sheridan's lab before it exploded. What this exactly means is currently unknown, though the trailer implies that there is Brain Uploading involved.
  • Speaking of the trailer, there are quite a few scary points brought up. Turns out that when Masa and Belle were arrested, they weren't being brought to the cops, but were somehow brought to Dr. Sheridan. It seems that Sheridan has been planning his scheme for quite some time.
    • We see Evelyn attacking Tari with the pineapple hammer from Ultra Jump Mania. Turns out that Sheridan was true to his word when he offered to give her Tari's abilities.
    • Towards the end of the trailer, Tari mentions that only one of them (Lucinia and herself) is able to come back. Oh boy.
  • The thumbnail for the Season 3 premiere has Evelyn confronting a chained-up Tari... with a knife.
  • It's only the first episode of the final season and things have already escalated quite far. Dr. Sheridan had modified Masa and Belle's brains to trap their minds inside of his simulation and is sick enough to have created an Extreme Doormat duplicate of Lucks. Later on, when Tari tries to warp into Turbo Crash, Evelyn, having been given Tari's abilities, intercepts with the warp and disables Tari's ability to leave the virtual world. After a long one-sided battle, Tari is strapped to a table and Sheridan begins to forcefully extract Lucinia's mind fragments from Tari's head...
    • Masa hallucinates A.I. Lucks as a zombie, and it is not pleasant to look at.
    • Tari asks if literally everyone is warped now. Sheridan assures her that no, that's for later.
    • When Tari begs Sheridan to let Masa and Belle free, Sheridan briefly changes his avatar into his true scarred face, claiming he didn't deserve the accident to happen. It just shows how pissed he really is under that goofy exterior.
    • When Sheridan started the extraction process, just listen to the sound that plays and look at the device being used. It looks as if Sheridan is pulling out pieces of her brain.
    • While Sheridan has possession of Lucinia's avatar, we haven't seen her real body yet, so we can't be sure if he actually has it. And if not, what is he uploading Lucinia's mind into?
  • The knife shown in the episode 1 thumbnail actually appears in episode 2, and it's revealed that it can damage code, and Evelyn successfully manages to slash Tari's stomach with it.
  • An easy to miss detail is that Lamar's Meta Runner arm starts sparking when Tari is using the unused Lamar model as a meat shield, meaning that the avatars and the Meta Runners are somehow already connected.
  • Episode 3 reveals that Evelyn has a device installed on her head that give her Tari's abilities. Then Masa realizes that he can't find those same devices on his and Belle's bodies, meaning that Sheridan used a different, potentially dangerous method of giving them the warp ability.
  • Episode 5 has The Reveal that Evelyn has been warping all of the Meta Runners she's come across into Sheridan's server. But that's not the disturbing part. The disturbing part is that their real bodies are apparently dying.
  • In Episode 6, it's revealed that Sheridan warped Silica City’s Meta Runners into his server so that he could force them into testing Global Warp Technology by murdering each other. It's as ugly as it sounds.
    • The moment one of the Meta Runners tries to grab a weapon from another only to get shot, pandemonium ensues.
    • The entire sequence of every Meta Runner being warped by Sheridan intercut to his broadcast to the world is chilling, not helped by his intense Motive Rant.
    • One warped Meta Runner in Marco's hideout is only able to manage a strained "help me" as he's stuck frozen.
    • There's a brief shot of Sheridan's PC overheating, looking like it's on the verge of exploding. It's fortunately implied in the next episode that it would just kick everyone's minds back to their bodies, but still.
  • What's the first thing Masa does when he finally breaks free from Sheridan's control? Grab the crazed scientist by the throat and back him against the wall—while he's about to explode, thanks to some nasty system overload. And with nothing left to lose (having already taken a life recently), he's 100% gung-ho about making sure this man dies with him! Granted, the dude had it coming, but Masa actively threatening someone's life this time is... a shift, to say the least.
    Sheridan: Let go! Your implant's gonna explode! You're gonna kill me!
  • There's something creepy about the way that the controlled Lucinia barely responds to being stabbed in the stomach by two blades, one of them which causes her to leak out her data, no less.
  • Despite all that Dr. Sheridan has done, his death makes Lucks’ death look quaint by comparison. Getting electrocuted by not just one, not two, but several electrical chips all at once is not a pleasant way to die, to the point where after they’ve all finished, all that’s left of him is a charred crisp.